English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

As an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher, your main role is to help students learn English as their second language. You will work with learners of different age groups in various settings, including schools, language institutions or private tutoring. The job involves developing and delivering courses that cater to the language needs of students. You will establish lesson plans, set learning objectives, and design curriculum for ESL students. Your job also involves conducting assessments, providing feedback, and grading students based on their performance. You will be responsible for creating an educational environment that fosters learning and student engagement. Excellent communication skills and cultural awareness are essential in this role. Additionally, you will need to keep up with the latest teaching technologies and methods to maintain relevance in the education industry. Are you passionate about teaching? Then an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher job description might suit you!

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Creating lesson plans and teaching English language skills to non-native speakers
  • Developing curriculum and materials that meet the needs of diverse student populations
  • Assessing student progress using different methods and tools, such as tests, homework, and classroom observations
  • Providing individualized support to students who need extra help, such as tutoring or counseling
  • Collaborating with other teachers and school staff to integrate language instruction across different subjects
  • Promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity among students from different backgrounds
  • Encouraging active participation and engagement in the classroom through interactive activities and group projects
  • Using technology and multimedia resources to enhance learning and communication with students and parents
  • Continuously evaluating and improving teaching strategies and methodologies based on student feedback and educational research.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, you need to have a two-pronged approach to education and experience. Firstly, you must have a bachelor's degree or higher in English, education, linguistics, or a related field. This will arm you with the knowledge and skills needed to teach English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading and writing skills to non-native speakers. Secondly, you need to have experience teaching ESL students, either through internships or work experience. This teaches you how to communicate with non-native speakers, identify their unique learning needs, and adjust teaching methods to cater to their needs. These two components, namely education and experience, will help you become a successful ESL teacher in the education industry.

Salary Range

Are you considering a career as an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher and wondering about the salary range? In the United States, the expected salary range for an ESL Teacher is between $35,000 to $70,000 per year. However, this salary range varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and level of education. For example, ESL Teachers with a Master's degree tend to earn more.

According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for ESL Teachers in the US is $46,000 per year. Other countries such as Canada and Australia offer similar salary ranges to their ESL Teachers. In Canada, the average salary for ESL Teachers is around $49,000 per year, while in Australia, they make an average of $56,000 per year.


  • Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/esl-teacher-salary-SRCH_KO0,11.htm
  • Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/salaries/esl-teacher-Salaries
  • PayScale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=EnglishasaSecondLanguage(ESL)Teacher/Hourly_Rate

Career Outlook

If you're considering a career as an English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher, the job outlook over the next five years is promising. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers (which includes ESL teachers) is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029 - this is faster than the average for all occupations. 

There’s increasing demand for ESL teachers because there are more non-native English speakers in the US every year. With globalization, students from all over the world come to the US to study or improve their English skills for work. Moreover, in today's digitally connected world, people also desire to learn English online from home, which provides ESL teachers with more opportunities to work remotely.

So if you're planning to pursue a career in education as an ESL teacher, you can expect the job opportunities to be abundant, giving you a chance to develop your skills and grow your career.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an ESL teacher do?

A: An ESL teacher helps students who are learning English as a second language through instruction and support with grammar, reading, writing, and conversation.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become an ESL teacher?

A: Typically, you will need a bachelor's degree in education with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language or a similar field. Some states may also require certification or licensure.

Q: What kind of students will I be teaching as an ESL teacher?

A: ESL teachers work with a diverse group of students such as immigrants, refugees, and international students who may speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds.

Q: What skills do I need to be an effective ESL teacher?

A: An effective ESL teacher needs strong communication skills, patience, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to adapt teaching methods to meet individual student needs.

Q: What is the job outlook for ESL teachers?

A: The job outlook for ESL teachers is positive with an expected growth of 10% over the next decade. As the world becomes more connected, the demand for English language instruction continues to increase.

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